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The greatest cons in wrestling history


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#1 Bix

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 10:01 PM

I was thinking about the ROH shows in Japan (more on those in a minute) and I thought this might be a fun thread. Feel free to add your own in addition to commenting on mine...

Paul Heyman/ECW cons everyone about everything: Heyman cons the wrestlers into working for free for extended periods of time. Heyman cons Chris Candido into charging $100,000+ in plane tickets onto his personal credit cards. Heyman cons Vince McMahon into funding him. Heyman cons Vince McMahon into being so deathly afraid of him going anywhere else that he'll never be fired. Heyman cons the fans into believing that ECW is something sacred not to be sullied/violated/whatever by The Big Show or the Boogeyman. Heyman cons Vince McMahon into bringing back ECW as part of the invasion. Heyman cons Vince McMahon into bringing back ECW as the third brand. Heyman cons the fans into believing that the Eliminators and Public Enemy were the best teams in the world at various points. Heyman cons the fans into buying tickets for shows that he knew would never take place. You can go on and on...

The Jarretts/TNA con Panda Energy: I'm not sure if the initial buyout would necessarily be that great a con, because there have been plenty of money marks over the years. The real brilliance of this con is how the Jarretts constantly held off death when the company deserved it, using something as simple as a new booker to buy time. The fact that Dixie Carter is an easy mark certainly helps things. I'm sad that the potential Jarrett/Panda split that was discussed never happened, as the Jarretts RUNNING OPPOSITION! to TNA in a battle to determine the #2 promotion by default would've been hilarious.

The nation of Japan and geek popular culture con Ring Of Honor: If you've been around die-hard wrestling, comic book, animation, video game, pornography, toy, or movie fans over the years, you've probably felt some of the allure of Japan. Via a weird fetishization of the ENTIRE COUNTRY, it's considered this magical land full of five star matches, subservient women who want our big American penises, the most innovative video games, violent art films, and robot dogs. It's a mindset that has reverberated through the geekier aspects of popular culture for the last 15 years or so, getting worse and worse over time. Somehow this concept of Japan conned professional con men. I'm not quite sure how, but it happened. Thus, ROH spent massive amounts of money to run what were basically normal ROH shows in Japan, just because they are huge marks for the concept of Japan. These shows featured nobody of any consequence that hasn't been to ROH before. Not enough Americans were in attendance to generate a buzz based off their live reports of the show. It cost a huge amount of money to put on. Plus, in falling victim to this con, they were unable to con their usual marks effectively. A fan or two flew to Japan specifically for these shows. If you have a fan dedicated enough to spend thousands of dollars on your company, shouldn't you try to con him on to giving the money TO YOUR COMPANY instead of an airline? How do you run a wrestling promotion and get conned so hideously while also failing to properly con your marks?

#2 sek69

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 10:11 PM

I was just reading in the new WON I got today how the Japanese fans at the ROH show "booed and cheered faces and heels not because of US style fan passion, but because they thought that's what you are supposed to do when you see American wrestling". For greatest cons, I vote for JR conning smart fans into his "golly shucks, I'm just a Okie who tells it like it is because I keep getting fired by Vince" act when he's one of (and in light of recent events possibly *the*) biggest company douchebag in WWE.

#3 Jingus

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 10:38 PM

This isn't any one person, but just the business in general: how the guys on top con everyone into the theory that the company has to "keep them strong", aka not let any upcomers beat them. Because apparently the fans will riot and leave in droves if the top guys ever get pinned by anyone other than another top guy. This con is most well-known for people who have either booking positions or Backstage Respect~!: Hogan, Dusty, HHH, HBK, Nash, Undertaker, Austin, etc, but isn't strictly limited to them; this con has been repeated so loud and long that even younger guys who have been elevated to new Top Guy status are treated the same way: why is Shawn Michaels the only guy to have cleanly pinned John Cena in years?

#4 sek69

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 10:44 PM

This isn't any one person, but just the business in general: how the guys on top con everyone into the theory that the company has to "keep them strong", aka not let any upcomers beat them. Because apparently the fans will riot and leave in droves if the top guys ever get pinned by anyone other than another top guy. This con is most well-known for people who have either booking positions or Backstage Respect~!: Hogan, Dusty, HHH, HBK, Nash, Undertaker, Austin, etc, but isn't strictly limited to them; this con has been repeated so loud and long that even younger guys who have been elevated to new Top Guy status are treated the same way: why is Shawn Michaels the only guy to have cleanly pinned John Cena in years?



Actually, there's nothing wrong with that in and of itself since the fans see the guys who win all the time as the ones to get behind. It's when guys like Hogan and Nash take it to ridiculous degrees that it becomes a problem.

Speaking of, despite how much I personally think he's awesome, Nash getting TNA to hire him when he has nothing left to offer and ends up making everyone else around him look like tiny jobbers is a great con.

#5 Bix

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 03:52 AM

Vince McMahon cons Vince McMahon into thinking that Ted Turner is out to get him: The WWF on TBS fails horribly, so he constructs this elaborate lie about the ratings being incredible, Turner wanting to buy the company, etc., and it all snowballs horribly from there. Vince was sure that (in spite of the fact that Hogan was lying), the wrestlers in the media contradicting Hogan after the infamous appearance on Arsenio Hall were being paid by Ted Turner to LIE. He was afraid that Dave Meltzer wasn't brave enough to tell THE TRUTH when it would eventually come out. Later on, during the Monday Night Wars, Vince pretended to have no idea who Eric Bischoff was, publicly going after Ted Turner as much as possible. Now, during the Benoit fallout, a coached WWE talking point is that not only did all of the drug problems start in WCW, they started in "Ted Turner's WCW."

#6 MikeCampbell

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 08:19 AM

Vince Russo conned WCW into thinking he was the sole reason that the WWF was able to turn the tide in the Monday Night War.

#7 Cox

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 09:44 AM

The nation of Japan and geek popular culture con Ring Of Honor: If you've been around die-hard wrestling, comic book, animation, video game, pornography, toy, or movie fans over the years, you've probably felt some of the allure of Japan. Via a weird fetishization of the ENTIRE COUNTRY, it's considered this magical land full of five star matches, subservient women who want our big American penises, the most innovative video games, violent art films, and robot dogs. It's a mindset that has reverberated through the geekier aspects of popular culture for the last 15 years or so, getting worse and worse over time. Somehow this concept of Japan conned professional con men. I'm not quite sure how, but it happened. Thus, ROH spent massive amounts of money to run what were basically normal ROH shows in Japan, just because they are huge marks for the concept of Japan. These shows featured nobody of any consequence that hasn't been to ROH before. Not enough Americans were in attendance to generate a buzz based off their live reports of the show. It cost a huge amount of money to put on. Plus, in falling victim to this con, they were unable to con their usual marks effectively. A fan or two flew to Japan specifically for these shows. If you have a fan dedicated enough to spend thousands of dollars on your company, shouldn't you try to con him on to giving the money TO YOUR COMPANY instead of an airline? How do you run a wrestling promotion and get conned so hideously while also failing to properly con your marks?

I think you're forgetting about the biggest con here; Gabe Sapolsky conning Cary Silken into losing tons of money so he could fulfill his dream of promoting a show in Japan. The amazing thing is, he probably originally sold Cary on the idea that it wouldn't lose that much money, because they could sell DVD's based on Samoa Joe wrestling Tenryu, Sasaki, or whatever other big names they could book for this. Yet even after Joe pulled out and the best main event they could muster was Morishima/Nigel (which he ran in Edison, NJ already) and the KENTA/CIMA dream team (which ended up not happening when KENTA hurt his knee), Cary didn't immediately pull the plug. There is almost nothing special about these shows that anybody outside of the ROH base would want to see, and Cary still went ahead and ran the shows at a major loss anyway, just so Gabe could claim he promoted a show in Japan. You have to give Gabe credit for that con, especially since I doubt he lost a dime on this.

Of course, you would think somebody like Gabe, who worked for Paul Heyman for all of those years, would realize that the ultimate goal of a con is to make money, not live out some mark fantasy. Then again, I'm not sure Gabe realizes how badly he was conned by Heyman yet.

#8 Cox

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 09:57 AM

Oh, and speaking of cons:

Jerry Lawler and the USWA: Lawler gets together with conman Larry Burton to purchase Jerry Jarrett's half of the USWA to sell it at an inflated cost to Mark Selker under the guise that the promotion is a national promotion (based on their syndication deal) that is worth millions of dollars. Of course, USWA in 1997 was on its ass, as the Raw/Nitro wars had killed Monday night wrestling in Memphis and they were running out of a flea market with a crew of mostly older local wrestlers. Selker closes the promotion down and sues Lawler and Burton. Lawler blames the entire thing on Burton, and the jury convicted Burton and let Lawler walk simply because they liked him more (surely that has nothing to do with Lawler's twenty years working as a top babyface in Memphis!). Jerry Lawler somehow out-conned a professional conman and left him holding the bag while he got off scot-free for the same crime. I think even Heyman would have to give Lawler a tip of the cap for that one.

#9 MikeCampbell

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 10:05 AM

The nation of Japan and geek popular culture con Ring Of Honor: If you've been around die-hard wrestling, comic book, animation, video game, pornography, toy, or movie fans over the years, you've probably felt some of the allure of Japan. Via a weird fetishization of the ENTIRE COUNTRY, it's considered this magical land full of five star matches, subservient women who want our big American penises, the most innovative video games, violent art films, and robot dogs. It's a mindset that has reverberated through the geekier aspects of popular culture for the last 15 years or so, getting worse and worse over time. Somehow this concept of Japan conned professional con men. I'm not quite sure how, but it happened. Thus, ROH spent massive amounts of money to run what were basically normal ROH shows in Japan, just because they are huge marks for the concept of Japan. These shows featured nobody of any consequence that hasn't been to ROH before. Not enough Americans were in attendance to generate a buzz based off their live reports of the show. It cost a huge amount of money to put on. Plus, in falling victim to this con, they were unable to con their usual marks effectively. A fan or two flew to Japan specifically for these shows. If you have a fan dedicated enough to spend thousands of dollars on your company, shouldn't you try to con him on to giving the money TO YOUR COMPANY instead of an airline? How do you run a wrestling promotion and get conned so hideously while also failing to properly con your marks?


Surely Gabe thought that Ricky Marvin would pack the house, and if he hadn't gotten hurt, then BxB Hulk would have made ROH millions!

#10 Loss

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 10:12 AM

There are times when it makes sense to do something knowing going in it may not make money if it will lead to something in the long run that does make money. It's like Vince said regarding the decision to use Mike Tyson at his full asking price at Wrestlemania XIV, he'd rather lose money off of 500,000 buys than make money off of 300,000. That said, this isn't one of those cases. But I wanted to put it out there.

#11 Bix

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 10:28 AM

The nation of Japan and geek popular culture con Ring Of Honor: If you've been around die-hard wrestling, comic book, animation, video game, pornography, toy, or movie fans over the years, you've probably felt some of the allure of Japan. Via a weird fetishization of the ENTIRE COUNTRY, it's considered this magical land full of five star matches, subservient women who want our big American penises, the most innovative video games, violent art films, and robot dogs. It's a mindset that has reverberated through the geekier aspects of popular culture for the last 15 years or so, getting worse and worse over time. Somehow this concept of Japan conned professional con men. I'm not quite sure how, but it happened. Thus, ROH spent massive amounts of money to run what were basically normal ROH shows in Japan, just because they are huge marks for the concept of Japan. These shows featured nobody of any consequence that hasn't been to ROH before. Not enough Americans were in attendance to generate a buzz based off their live reports of the show. It cost a huge amount of money to put on. Plus, in falling victim to this con, they were unable to con their usual marks effectively. A fan or two flew to Japan specifically for these shows. If you have a fan dedicated enough to spend thousands of dollars on your company, shouldn't you try to con him on to giving the money TO YOUR COMPANY instead of an airline? How do you run a wrestling promotion and get conned so hideously while also failing to properly con your marks?

I think you're forgetting about the biggest con here; Gabe Sapolsky conning Cary Silken into losing tons of money so he could fulfill his dream of promoting a show in Japan. The amazing thing is, he probably originally sold Cary on the idea that it wouldn't lose that much money, because they could sell DVD's based on Samoa Joe wrestling Tenryu, Sasaki, or whatever other big names they could book for this. Yet even after Joe pulled out and the best main event they could muster was Morishima/Nigel (which he ran in Edison, NJ already) and the KENTA/CIMA dream team (which ended up not happening when KENTA hurt his knee), Cary didn't immediately pull the plug. There is almost nothing special about these shows that anybody outside of the ROH base would want to see, and Cary still went ahead and ran the shows at a major loss anyway, just so Gabe could claim he promoted a show in Japan. You have to give Gabe credit for that con, especially since I doubt he lost a dime on this.

The thing is, this assumes that Gabe is smart enough to realize the shows were a ridiculously terrible idea. I don't see any reason to believe he thinks it was a bad idea.

Of course, you would think somebody like Gabe, who worked for Paul Heyman for all of those years, would realize that the ultimate goal of a con is to make money, not live out some mark fantasy. Then again, I'm not sure Gabe realizes how badly he was conned by Heyman yet.

I agree.

Oh, and speaking of cons:

Jerry Lawler and the USWA: Lawler gets together with conman Larry Burton to purchase Jerry Jarrett's half of the USWA to sell it at an inflated cost to Mark Selker under the guise that the promotion is a national promotion (based on their syndication deal) that is worth millions of dollars. Of course, USWA in 1997 was on its ass, as the Raw/Nitro wars had killed Monday night wrestling in Memphis and they were running out of a flea market with a crew of mostly older local wrestlers. Selker closes the promotion down and sues Lawler and Burton. Lawler blames the entire thing on Burton, and the jury convicted Burton and let Lawler walk simply because they liked him more (surely that has nothing to do with Lawler's twenty years working as a top babyface in Memphis!). Jerry Lawler somehow out-conned a professional conman and left him holding the bag while he got off scot-free for the same crime. I think even Heyman would have to give Lawler a tip of the cap for that one.

I don't like how you imply that Lawler isn't a professional conman. ;)

Torch coverage of the initial fallout from the lawsuit filing.

Sidebar cover story: USWA in turmoil, Lawler sued
Originally published: Pro Wrestling Torch Weekly newsletter #458
Cover dated: September 20, 1997

USWA co-owner Mark Selker filed a lawsuit against his USWA business partner Larry Burton and former owner and main event wrestler Jerry Lawler. The lawsuit, filed Sept. 11 in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Ohio, seeks $1.5 million dollars plus punitive damages.

Selker claims in the lawsuit that both Lawler and Burton made false representations of fact about the USWA which he relied upon when purchasing his share of the USWA for $1 million. The lawsuit also says Burton "maliciously interfered with the prudent management of" and "willfully acted in ways to harm" the USWA.

The lawsuit was served to Lawler and Burton Saturday, Sept. 13 at the WMC-TV studios in Memphis during the TV taping. The in-fighting has led to doubt regarding the future of the USWA. Selker circulated a memo to USWA wrestlers Sunday before the house show at the Big One Expo Center in Memphis. The memo said the show was not an authorized USWA event and if they participated on the event, they should not seek payment from the USWA, but instead should look personally to Burton for payoffs.

Sources tell the TORCH the crux of Selker's complaint is that Lawler and Burton created a scheme in which they would inflate the apparent value of the USWA in order to justify the $1 million price tag he paid for half of the company. In the lawsuit filed by Selker, it says he is 55 percent owner while other sources say they believed the percentage to be split 50-50.

Selker, a businessman out of Cleveland, began making small investments in the USWA dating back to October 1996. Jerry Lawler purchased 50 percent of the USWA from co-owner Jerry Jarrett in December 1996 for $250,000 which made him 100 percent owner of the USWA. Burton brokered the deal. It was represented to Selker that Lawler then sold the USWA to Larry Burton for $2 million on Dec. 20 with $500,000 paid immediately and the rest due in regularly payments of $250,000. Selker, based on that information, then began wiring payments to Lawler in lieu of Burton's payments which eventually would total $1 million and land Selker 50 percent ownership. Selker now believes he was intentionally misled into believing the USWA was actually worth $2 million through fraudulent tactics, in part based on knowledge he now has that Jarrett sold his 50 percent for one-fourth of what Lawler sold it to him for just weeks later.

"Some people may not agree with what I did, but it was the American way," Lawler tells the TORCH Monday night from Stamford, Conn. "Donald Trump does it every day. It's called OPM - using Other People's Money. Jerry Jarrett sold his interest in the USWA so cheap because he was no longer interested in being an owner. His exact words when I offered to buy him out were, �F--- yes.' He said, �I'll take anything I can get.' Those were his exact words. When I offered $250,000, he said, �Hell, yes.' Yet when I sold the USWA for $2 million to Burton and Selker, they were tickled to death. They thought they were taking me to the cleaners."

Selker's attorneys, including his father Eugene, depositioned former co-owner Jarrett for seven hours in Nashville on Thursday, Sept. 11. Jarrett, who sold his half of the USWA to Lawler in December 1996 and since then has not been involved in the wrestling business, tells the TORCH he knew Lawler planned to sell the USWA right after buying it from him, but he didn't know to whom Lawler planned to sell it.

"Lawler called me this past Sunday and told me he'd hate if I testified against him," Jarrett says. "I told him I only have knowledge of selling my half of the USWA to him in December 1996. Otherwise all I can testify to is the income and expenses of the USWA before that. Until two weeks ago I didn't even know Selker's name."

The issue in dispute is whether Lawler can show that Burton really did pay him $1 million, or installments on that amount, as had been represented to Selker. Burton and Lawler also may need to explain why Burton would be willing to pay $1 million to Lawler for his share of the USWA when he (Burton) just brokered a deal for Lawler to buy the same 50 percent share of the company from Jarrett for one-fourth that amount. Burton did receive a broker's fee of $75,000 from Lawler for consummating the deal with Jarrett. On the surface it appears Burton helped Lawler buy an asset, then turned around and agreed to immediately pay him four times that price for the same asset, all to convince someone else (Selker) to buy the other 50 percent of the asset for the same, allegedly inflated, price.

Although the USWA grossed less than $500,000 in 1996 according to Jarrett, Selker was shown paperwork that indicated Lawler had hired Burton to be CEO of the USWA in October 1996 for an annual salary of $750,000 plus performance bonuses. If the CEO was earning that much, then certainly 50 percent of the company would be worth $1 million, or so apparently Selker reasoned.

Lawler won't confirm the $750,000 figure, but does say when he still owned the USWA that he hired Burton for a "big" salary. He says he did so because he believed Selker's involvement in the USWA was going to lead to a great increase in revenues for the company the following year.

Selker surveyed the USWA extensively before buying into it, including bringing in someone from Fox TV to assess the potential advertising revenue from the 60 station syndicated network. Lawler and Jarrett had not been bothering to aggressively go after advertisers so Selker apparently believed there was big time potential for increased revenues if he injected new energy into the promotion.

Sources say Lawler even arranged for Selker to meet Vince McMahon and McMahon gave Selker his opinion on the value of the USWA before Selker agreed to purchase half the company for $1 million. (Burton told Bob Ryder of Prodigy last weekend that McMahon made a proposal to Selker to help the USWA, "but Selker just sat on it and didn't do anything," Burton said.)

Selker also believed the USWA could draw more revenues from increasing the number of shows run per week. He hired James Beard, a referee out of Texas with years of background in wrestling, to seek out new spot shows. Beard was reportedly recommended for hire by the Bruce Prichard of the WWF, who knew Beard from his roots in Houston.

Lawler says Selker is bitter because he (Selker) ran the USWA into the ground in his first several months running the promotion. Various sources confirm that Selker did increase the expenses of the USWA before increasing revenues. Selker rented a high priced office for the USWA in Clark Towers in downtown Nashville for $3,000 a month. He hired a staff with salaries in some cases over $100,000 per year. Burton did the same thing, hiring an associate of his from California to work in the new plush offices for a six-figure salary.

"I told Burton they wouldn't be successful running the USWA that way," Lawler says. "I told them they had to make money before they spent it."

Lawler says a few weeks ago he talked to Burton about cutting back on expenses because Lawler had an interest in saving the promotion - including protecting his six-figure guaranteed salary as a wrestler.

Explains Lawler: "They hired a guy for $125,000 a year to sell the ad time on the syndicated network, but he wasn't commissioned so the guy had no incentive to actually sell time. Within 60 days they had run up huge payroll expenses and had little to show for it."

When Burton approached Selker about cutting back on expenses, Lawler says the entire staff talked Selker into trying to boot Burton - in order to protect their own salaries. It was at that point that the partnership between Burton and Selker broke down. The USWA had run up debts, with sources indicating they had fallen behind on building rent in Nashville along with various commission taxes.

Because wire transfers across state lines are part of the alleged fraudulent activity, rumors are circulating that the FBI might already be looking into the case. There have been reports that Lawler and Burton could face criminal charges and jail time. The key for Lawler and Burton appears to be their ability to prove they operated in good faith. Should they provide evidence of a paper trail that proved Burton did really pay Lawler what the documents shown to Selker represented, then fraud may be tougher to establish.

Selker sought a temporary restraining order preventing Burton from running any events under the USWA banner. A judge in federal court on Monday denied Selker's request. It appears for the time being Burton will continue to run events under the USWA banner as long as he is willing to incur the expenses, including production costs for the TV show, rent (perhaps including back rent) on several venues, and wrestler payoffs. It may be a moot point if WMC-TV management decides they don't want to deal with the headache of dueling owners and just cancels the show, which just moved to midnight.

The TORCH left a message for Selker but did not receive a return call from him before deadline.

Opinion issued on an appeal on 10/11/05 w/ background (PDF).

#12 Bix

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 10:30 AM

There are times when it makes sense to do something knowing going in it may not make money if it will lead to something in the long run that does make money. It's like Vince said regarding the decision to use Mike Tyson at his full asking price at Wrestlemania XIV, he'd rather lose money off of 500,000 buys than make money off of 300,000.

That said, this isn't one of those cases. But I wanted to put it out there.

Well, yeah. The ROH Japan shows are basically the small-scale equivalent of WWE running 2 nights in Antarctica for $100 million because it sounds cool.

#13 Cox

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 10:42 AM

There are times when it makes sense to do something knowing going in it may not make money if it will lead to something in the long run that does make money. It's like Vince said regarding the decision to use Mike Tyson at his full asking price at Wrestlemania XIV, he'd rather lose money off of 500,000 buys than make money off of 300,000.

That said, this isn't one of those cases. But I wanted to put it out there.

Well, yeah. The ROH Japan shows are basically the small-scale equivalent of WWE running 2 nights in Antarctica for $100 million because it sounds cool.

Only not awesome.

#14 Bix

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 10:52 AM

There are times when it makes sense to do something knowing going in it may not make money if it will lead to something in the long run that does make money. It's like Vince said regarding the decision to use Mike Tyson at his full asking price at Wrestlemania XIV, he'd rather lose money off of 500,000 buys than make money off of 300,000.

That said, this isn't one of those cases. But I wanted to put it out there.

Well, yeah. The ROH Japan shows are basically the small-scale equivalent of WWE running 2 nights in Antarctica for $100 million because it sounds cool.

Only not awesome.

I forgot that part.

#15 Indikator

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 11:32 AM

Antonio Inoki & Roland Bock con normal people / investors

In 1978 former Olympian Roland Bock managed to get Inoki to participate in a European Tour. For this tour with 21/22 dates (a show was cancelled) they had to collect 3 millionen Deutsch Marks (a lot of money, don't ask me how much that´d be today) and got them from unsuspecting investors who clearly didn't have a clue about wrestling. Bock had a promoter as business partner called Paul Berger who was rather good and experienced at promoting, but I guess he liked to con people as he was a former wrestler (in the US for Capitol Wrestling ~ 1957 with Ludvig Von Krupp / Rene Lasartesse). This business practice must have been not the only case in European wrestling history. It's a pity that most information has been lost. So anyways, Bock/Berger/Inoki got their money and the investors had no luck at all. In spite of a magnificent roster and well known people like Anton Geesink and Wilhelm Ruska the shows were abysmal, on one night it was noted that the showstealer was a limbo performance during intermission. 4500-5000 people were needed each night for the break even point, they made maybe half of it. Reviews were horrible. Press destroyed the shows.


Also...

- Inoki was announced as the current Karate - Catch - world champion
- Inoki was said to be WWA champion (Asia) , Roland Bock WWU champion (Europe/Africa) and Bruno Sammartino WWC champion (World Wrestling Council !!! - USA)
- Inoki and Roland Bock were both said to have beaten Bruno Sammartino in qualifying matches, thus their fight(s) will be for the undisputed world title
- Inoki was going to defend his world title on every show ; it was not said what the title name was nor which organisation sanctioned the title matches. It was a generic claim
- in the yellow press Inokis pay was billed as 2,1 Million Deutsch Marks (in the paper the investors got, I have a copy, it was 1 Million)
- Inoki wrestled an Austrian Olympian who promoted in his hometown of Linz, Austria successful pro wrestling tournaments. The guy, Eugen Wiesberger Jr. , was so bad during this match that his own hometown crowd and media turned against him. They never forgave him his atrocious performance and Wiesberger retired a couple of years after that and no more tournaments were held in Linz. Wiesberger/Linz could be comparable to Kohler/Chicago, because there has to be a really good reason why a hometown hero & Olympian & wrestler & promoter kills his own promotion.

Here is a letter from Gerhard Schäfer to Dick Beyer (I assume it was him) about the tournament. It's in English so you can read it.
http://home.arcor.de...ator/letter.zip

And the funniest thing about the whole deal - Inoki did a newspaper interview and was asked if he was involved in politics. His answer was: "Not at all. No sports person should participate in politics as it collides with his character and integrity."

#16 S.L.L.

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 11:48 AM

Brian Pillman cons the conmen: For one reason or another, booker Kevin Sullivan, possibly in league with Eric Bischoff, becomes enamored with the idea of tricking everyone - including the boys in the back - into thinking that his feud with Brian Pillman is a SH00T~!. Pillman gets in on the fun, calling Sullivan "bookerman" on a live PPV broadcast, and generally drawing the worked shoot ire of Eric Bischoff. To further work everyone who wasn't in on the angle, Pillman convinces Bischoff to give him a real release from his contract to make it look like Bischoff really fired him over his SH00T~! antics on TV. Bischoff complied, thinking this would really hammer home the notion that this was a SH00T~!. Having received his release from his WCW contract, Pillman immediately jumps ship to the WWF. Amazingly, Bischoff and Sullivan are never totally dissuaded from the notion that this particular brand of worked shoot angles are a bad idea, and Sullivan immediately gets to work on another one. As an indirect result, Chris, Nancy, and Daniel Benoit are dead. Oops.

#17 CodySave

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 11:53 AM

Fritz Von Erich cons World Class fans with dead son David Von Erich's "autographed" photos

Let me preface this by saying that if I have the details wrong, someone please correct me. Anyway, I've read in many places that following David's death, autogrpahed photos of David were being sold at World Class shows. Except, instead of it being David's signature, it was actually Fritz or another office person signing the photos with David's signature.

I assume this was also done for the other son's that died. Is it correct to assume this?

Also:

Perverted Justice and a local TV station con Rob Feinstein into thinking he's meeting with a 14-year-old boy

I think we all know how this turned out. For ROH's sake, it's a good thing Perverted Justice wasn't hooked up with Dateline NBC yet or the backlash on the company could have been much worse if this would have been on national TV.

#18 Bix

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 12:12 PM

Fritz Von Erich cons World Class fans with dead son David Von Erich's "autographed" photos

Let me preface this by saying that if I have the details wrong, someone please correct me. Anyway, I've read in many places that following David's death, autogrpahed photos of David were being sold at World Class shows. Except, instead of it being David's signature, it was actually Fritz or another office person signing the photos with David's signature.

I assume this was also done for the other son's that died. Is it correct to assume this?

Referee/office worker David Manning signed the pictures.

Also, Indikator's post is awesome.

#19 Guest_teke184_*

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 12:53 PM

Perverted Justice and a local TV station con Rob Feinstein into thinking he's meeting with a 14-year-old boy

I think we all know how this turned out. For ROH's sake, it's a good thing Perverted Justice wasn't hooked up with Dateline NBC yet or the backlash on the company could have been much worse if this would have been on national TV.

Bix created a video package of this that I fucking LOVE, which included footage of RF running away while "I Know What Boys Like" played over the video.

#20 Bix

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 01:07 PM

Perverted Justice and a local TV station con Rob Feinstein into thinking he's meeting with a 14-year-old boy

I think we all know how this turned out. For ROH's sake, it's a good thing Perverted Justice wasn't hooked up with Dateline NBC yet or the backlash on the company could have been much worse if this would have been on national TV.

Bix created a video package of this that I fucking LOVE, which included footage of RF running away while "I Know What Boys Like" played over the video.

Helpfully YouTubed by Bob Barnett.




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